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[APD] ADA soils, Power sand and Water column fertilizing

I've set up 4 tanks to gauge how critical the powersand issue is.
  I'm not privy to having two different colors and types of substrates in the tank. I also wondered if they power sand is really the critcal thing.
  ADA, more specifically Amano, said the water column needs to be lean to prevent algae. Anyone can show that this notion is wrong.
  So I dosed one tank per ADA recommendation+ powersand. The other was dosed EI without powersand. The inital phase was dosed just like an established tank.  
  Both tanks are high light, packed well with plants from day one, same CO2/filter/lighting.
  The tank without the powersand and dosed to the water column has done extremely well. The tank with the PS has less growth overall and a little diatom growth. 
  I predicted that the water column dosing would not cause algae nor cause anything other than good plant growth.
  This prediction was shown to be correct here.
  Neither method produced much algae at this point(6 weeks in).
  Much of the research suggest plants will take the nutrients out of the water column first, then invest in root growth/uptake only if there a limiting supply of nutrients in the water column, as is often the case in natural systems(but not ours).
  The other predictions were that the bacter plus(Mulm in a bottle) would not have any effect nor the Tuormaline. At 6 weeks in, I cannot say I see anything relatable to the products vs the tanks without(ADA soil and EI dosing).
  CO2 has been very rich with high pearling 1-2 hours after the lights come on and zero algae.    
  But the powersand can easily be forgone and the aquarist may use greg watson ferts with as much/more success than the ADA ferts and PowerSand.
  One 9 liter bag of Aquasoil is about 28-36$ and will cover a 29 gal tank nicely.
  So that's about the same as Flourite which would require 2 bags at least.
  I would definitely suggest ADA soils over Flora Base. Better look, better replanting.
  Flourite etc is heavier and will last longer(forever), but the results and cost of ADa soils is not as bad as many have said.
  Now that I'm certain that EI etc can be used without the powersand and you can use the normal recommendations I often suggest, I feel a lot better.
  It's not the best product for those that replant and do mainly growing.
  It needs to be left alone more and is better for those doing the gardening aspect more.
  But you do NOT need the Powersand, the ADA line of ferts, nor fear algae.
  If you use the CO2 mist method, then the methods all work very well together and you have lots of nice growth, no algae, etc.
  I give it a 4 out of 5, it's a bit light weight, and will turn to mush at some point.
  Bu if you get a couple of three years out of it, then it's still likely worth it for most.
  Looks nice also.
  I've tried to fine a number of clay like materials, and yes, I'm still looking, but in the meantime, the ADA soils seems might good, but just get the ADA soils and dose the regular dry ferts. You do not need the other stuff(powersand, Tuormoline,green bacter plus, Penac etc).
  I did not try the Penac, nor plan too, but the others did not have any effect near as I can tell. If I cannot see the difference it makes after a few weeks, I cannot suggest that you buy it.
  But the cost relative to Flourite is similar, and is better than Eco Complete, Soil master is still as good on most all levels as EC IME.
  So you don't need to get totally into the ADA line to use many of ADA's product line.
   Like any product line, there are things that are good that work and things that are so so or simply not required.
  Jeff Senske at:
  Aquaforest which is located in SF on Fillmore:
  Aqua Forest
1718 Fillmore, San Francisco
tel. 929.8883
  From what I can tell, the soils and the tanks are good buys.
  One last thing about a benefit, ADA Soils do not scratch glass...............why is that important?
  When cleaning below the gravel line with a scraper, or anyone that uses a magnet(don't use these!), often a small piece of hard gravel will catch and leave a big old scratch if you are not careful. Always clean top to bottom and be careful at the gravel line. This is a very nice benefit to the softer soils, the powersand is pumice based and will scratch though.
  Tom Barr  

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